Enduring public humiliation is not the only price a political leader should pay for improprieties; I think they should be disciplined and suspended, if not disposed from public service. The consequence of corruption also should be increased restrictions, if not a banning from certain areas of future public service. If one cannot properly handle his private affairs, can we truly expect him to handle political ones? If politicians can't rightly steward the duties and offices granted to them, then they should be removed and kept from the public trust. As Christians, we should be abundant in forgiveness; but as Americans too, we should be diligent in protecting political trusts from those who do or might abuse them.
To help restore national civility and decency is just one of many reasons I wrote my new book, "Black Belt Patriotism," which will be released Sept. 7 and is available at Amazon.com for pre-order. During the next few weeks, I'll give a few sneak peeks at its contents in my column.
With the Edwards affair and political integrity again hot in the news, here is just a taste of what I say in the section "The basis for morality and civility":
"Whatever happened to decency, respect, and fair play? Remember when a handshake was the only contract that was needed in negotiations? Whatever happened to the days when fourteen-year-olds (like the young George Washington) set themselves to learn and write out freehand by their own volition the 110Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation (a book written by Jesuits for the instruction of young gentlemen)?
"Good morals precede good laws, which is why government isn't much help. Unless the people and their legislators are grounded in morality, the best of laws will be broken and the worst of laws will be made, legalizing immorality. We can't look to government to improve decency, civility, and morality. For that we need to look to another source.
"John Adams put it well when he said: 'We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.' …
"Our Founders had a better answer than government or even education. God is the answer. God is the moral compass of America. Or He should be, if we ever want to restore morality in our homes and civility to our land. Our Founders believed morals flowed from one's accountability to God, and that, without God, immoral anarchy would result."